A cluster of 126.5 metre high wind turbines could soon dominate the skyline near Lindley Wood Reservoir.
Harrogate Borough Council has been contacted by an agent for renewable energy company Infinis about its intention to create a six-turbine wind farm on Lindley Moor, near Otley.
At the moment Infinis has asked the authority for ‘scoping options’, a preliminary stage in the planning process – but one that campaign website Save the Dales claims could result in reducing people’s chance to object.
Gerry Smith, a spokesman for Save the Dales, said: “Lindley Moor wind farm will be only some 4.4 kilometres from Otley and, with the height of the turbines plus the land being 38 metres higher than the other proposed wind farms in the area, will have a marked negative impact on Otley and Wharfedale.
“It is also only 500 metres from the boundary of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
“It is inconceivable how anybody could consider this a suitable location for any wind farm, let alone one with turbines which will be some of the highest in the UK.
“In its own right this will dominate over a fair proportion of the nearby Nidderdale AONB and Wharfedale –- combine it with the other 34 proposed turbines for the immediate area, plus the existing eight at Knabs Ridge, and the treasured views across much of the AONB will be decimated.”
The Lindley Moor site lies some 400 metres south of where Kelda intends to create a 17 turbine wind farm, on Haverah Park. Companies can use ‘scoping’ reports to ensure that their subsequent Environmental Impact Assessments contain all the details the local authority needs.
By doing so, it means the council will then be obliged to make a decision on the application within eight weeks or risk it going automatically to appeal.
Save the Dales claims that could lead to residents having as little as 21 days to formally register any objections to a new wind farm scheme.
Mr Smith added: “The perverse decision to allow the wind farm at Knabs Ridge, on appeal, has been seen by developers as the ‘open door’. That is totally wrong and a strong stance must be made against the next application, before committee, to make that point.”
The scoping report submitted to Harrogate states that Lindley Wood Wind Farm Ltd, a subsidiary of Infinis, wishes to create a “wind farm and associated works on land on Lindley Moor, to the north of Otley. The wind turbines will have a maximum tip height of 126.5 metres.”
The full scoping document can be viewed at www.savethedales.co.uk. Campaigners say the Lindley Moor turbines would contribute, as one of four new proposed, adjoining wind farms to the west of Harrogate and venturing in to the Washburn Valley, to creating “the largest onshore wind farm in England”.